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Causation and Observation

In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Arguing about causes in law: a semi-formal framework for causal arguments.Rūta Liepiņa, Giovanni Sartor & Adam Wyner - 2020 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 28 (1):69-89.
    Disputes over causes play a central role in legal argumentation and liability attribution. Legal approaches to causation often struggle to capture cause-in-fact in complex situations, e.g. overdetermination, preemption, omission. In this paper, we first assess three current theories of causation to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses in capturing cause-in-fact. Secondly, we introduce a semi-formal framework for modelling causal arguments through strict and defeasible rules. Thirdly, the framework is applied to the Althen vaccine injury case. And lastly, we discuss the need (...)
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  • On the Origins of Physical Cognition in Corvids.Ivo Jacobs - 2017 - Dissertation, Lund University
    Physical cognition involves a host of cognitive abilities that enable understanding and manipulation of the physical world. Corvids, the bird family that includes crows, ravens and jays, are renowned for their cognitive abilities, but still little is known about their folk physics. This thesis explores the origins of physical cognition in corvids by investigating its mechanisms, development,fitness value and phylogeny in a wide context that includes theoretical and empirical studies.String pulling is a valuable paradigm for addressing these questions. Many animals (...)
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  • Boolean Difference-Making: A Modern Regularity Theory of Causation.Michael Baumgartner & Christoph Falk - unknown - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz047.
    A regularity theory of causation analyses type-level causation in terms of Boolean difference-making. The essential ingredient that helps this theoretical framework overcome the problems of Hume’s and Mill’s classical accounts is a principle of non-redundancy: only Boolean dependency structures from which no elements can be eliminated track causation. The first part of this paper argues that the recent regularity theoretic literature has not consistently implemented this principle, for it disregarded an important type of redundancies: structural redundancies. Moreover, it is shown (...)
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  • How Agency Can Solve Interventionism’s Problem of Circularity.Victor Gijsbers & Leon de Bruin - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1-17.
    Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is beset by a problem of circularity: the analysis of causes is in terms of interventions, and the analysis of interventions is in terms of causes. This is not in itself an argument against the correctness of the analysis. But by requiring us to have causal knowledge prior to making any judgements about causation, Woodward’s theory does make it mysterious how we can ever start acquiring causal knowledge. We present a solution to this problem by (...)
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  • Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals.David A. Lagnado, Tobias Gerstenberg & Ro'I. Zultan - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):1036-1073.
    How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in multiple agent contexts. We draw on the structural model account of actual causation (e.g., Halpern & Pearl, 2005) and its extension to responsibility judgments (Chockler & Halpern, 2004). We review the main (...)
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  • Towards a Definition of Efforts.Olivier Massin - 2017 - Motivation Science 3 (3):230-259.
    Although widely used across psychology, economics, and philosophy, the concept ofeffort is rarely ever defined. This article argues that the time is ripe to look for anexplicit general definition of effort, makes some proposals about how to arrive at thisdefinition, and suggests that a force-based approach is the most promising. Section 1presents an interdisciplinary overview of some chief research axes on effort, and arguesthat few, if any, general definitions have been proposed so far. Section 2 argues thatsuch a definition is (...)
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  • Causality and Unification: How Causality Unifies Statistical Regularities.Gerhard Schurz - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (1):73-95.
    Two key ideas of scientific explanation−explanation as causal information and explanation as unification-have frequently been set into mutual opposition. This paper proposes a “dialectical solution” to this conflict, by arguing that causal explanations are preferable to non-causal ones, because they lead to a higherdegree of unification at the level of explaining statistical regularities. The core axioms of the theory of causal nets are justified because they offer the best if not the only unifying explanation of two statistical phenomena: screening off (...)
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  • Hybrid Nature of Causation: A Consideration From Some Ethical Issues.Masaki Ichinose - 2013 - In Tetsuji Uehiro Julian Savulescu (ed.), Ethics for the Future of Life. pp. 60-80.
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  • Counterfactuals and Counterparts: Defending a Neo-Humean Theory of Causation.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University and University of Glasgow
    Whether there exist causal relations between guns firing and people dying, between pedals pressed and cars accelerating, or between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, is typically taken to be a mind-independent, objective, matter of fact. However, recent contributions to the literature on causation, in particular theories of contrastive causation and causal modelling, have undermined this central causal platitude by relativising causal facts to models or to interests. This thesis flies against the prevailing wind by arguing that we must pay (...)
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  • Concrete Causation: About the Structures of Causal Knowledge.Roland Poellinger - 2012 - Dissertation, LMU Munich
    Concrete Causation centers about theories of causation, their interpretation, and their embedding in metaphysical-ontological questions, as well as the application of such theories in the context of science and decision theory. The dissertation is divided into four chapters, that firstly undertake the historical-systematic localization of central problems (chapter 1) to then give a rendition of the concepts and the formalisms underlying David Lewis' and Judea Pearl's theories (chapter 2). After philosophically motivated conceptual deliberations Pearl's mathematical-technical framework is drawn on for (...)
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  • Causality, Mosaics, and the Health Sciences.Olaf Dammann - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (2):161-168.
    Thinking about illness causation has a long and rich history in medicine. After a hiatus in the 1990s, the last one-and-a-half decades have seen a surge of publications on causality in the biomedical sciences. Interestingly, this surge is visible not only in the medical, epidemiological, bioinformatics, and public health literatures, but also among philosophical publications. In this essay, I review and discuss one most recent addition to the literature, "Causality: Philosophical Theory Meets Scientific Practice" written by philosophers Phyllis Illari and (...)
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  • The Asymmetry of Causality: A Realist Solution.Bernard McBreen - 2018 - Philosophical Investigations 41 (1):3-21.
    How do we distinguish between cause and effect? The main argument of this paper is that if a realist account of the meaning of causal statements is adopted, then two clear distinctions between cause and effect emerge. By realist account is meant conceiving a cause as something with a power to act. Since a realist approach to causality is not widely accepted among philosophers, two arguments against a realist approach to causality are countered. The asymmetry of causality is defended against (...)
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